Limiting greenhouse gas emissions from land use in Europe

Apr 10, 2013

Not only do humans emit greenhouse gases into the atmosphere, but they also do things that help remove these gases from the atmosphere—for example, planting more forests or other land management techniques can lead to greater uptake of greenhouse gases from the atmosphere. New research presented by IIASA researcher Hannes Böttcher at the EGU General Assembly this week estimates future land use emissions for the European Union. These scenarios provide the basis for policy discussions in the EU, and also help identify the least costly mitigation options for addressing climate change in Europe.

The new estimates, which are based on an integrated modeling framework that combines information about population, economics, and land use and land productivity, show that Europe could potentially reduce from land use by more than 60% by 2050. The study showed that the biggest mitigation potential lies in cutting emissions from agriculture such as , as well as in managing forests effectively to increase their role as a carbon sink.

While the study specifically addresses European emissions, the researchers also looked at how mitigation efforts in Europe would affect land use and emissions outside of Europe. For example, if Europe reduces cropland in order to grow more forests, the food that is no longer grown will likely instead be grown somewhere outside of Europe. in the land use sector are therefore likely to change also the productivity of the sector in Europe.

"If we assume that demand doesn't change," says Böttcher, "to satisfy demand, the production will move outside of Europe to a large degree." This movement is known as a leakage effect. The researchers calculated that this leakage effect would reduce the effectiveness of European mitigation efforts by up to 20%.

Explore further: Bacteria ate some toxins, but worst remain, according to Gulf oil spill researcher

Provided by International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis

3.3 /5 (3 votes)
add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Biodiesel won't drive down global warming

Apr 23, 2007

EU legislation to promote the uptake of biodiesel will not make any difference to global warming, and could potentially result in greater emissions of greenhouse gases than from conventional petroleum derived diesel. This ...

Kenya biofuel project opposed

Mar 23, 2011

Environmental goups Wednesday protested an expansive project to grow jatropha in Kenya for biofuels, arguing that such production would emit more carbon than fossil fuels.

Recommended for you

Selective logging takes its toll on mammals, amphibians

8 hours ago

The selective logging of trees in otherwise intact tropical forests can take a serious toll on the number of animal species living there. Mammals and amphibians are particularly sensitive to the effects of ...

User comments : 0